In spite of COVID restrictions a homework club started by Suellen Mewburn and Jakarni Appo at Port Curtis Coral Coast Trust has ensured Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students have a safe space to study and learn.
As COVID-19 caused widespread disruption across the schooling community, and many schools moved to an online format, Suellen and Jakarni made plans to provide a platform for face-to-face learning for at-risk students.
“Educators have quickly moved to online learning platforms and a combination of mixed education delivery methods which are to be commended,” said organisers and creators of the PCCC homework club, Suellen Mewburn and Jakarni Appo.
“However, we know from our mob and the regional demographic data that the Bundaberg regions are already plagued with below state and national rates for education competition and attainment.”
The purpose of Homework Club is to provide assistance for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander students to help them develop their study habits and to instil independent study skills in a positive and supportive environment.
Suellen and Jakarni said that although online learning had proved particularly successful, many groups including Indigenous children were at risk of disengaging from school.
“Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander (ATSI) Families have limited access to internet and electronic devices, which makes it hard for most students to be able to go online with their schooling, which will cause an increase in learning difficulty when students finally return to their school,” they said.
“It’s hard to find the time and energy to fit homework into an already jam-packed daily schedule, and, for some, homelife can be chaotic, loud and full of distractions, therefore we were wanting to provide a safe and supportive out of school learning environment with quality tutoring that supports our ATSI Students.”
“Our focus is on Prep to Year 12 students, and while every grade will be different with their homework and also their learning style, we will have tutors, supervisors and volunteers helping our students with their literacy and numeracy skills, keeping all students up to date with their workload.”
The homework club is held every Thursday at Headspace Bundaberg from 3:30pm to 5pm.
PCCC provide local tutors, supervisors and volunteers who have the appropriate skills and knowledge to enhance students learning and development skills, and bus travel can be provided to those who do not have transport.
A combination of tutorial-based learning and tailored one on one support for students is available to help students complete homework provided by their respective schools.
Suellen and Jakarni said all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were welcome.
“PCCC is always committed to providing education opportunities for our PCCC children, however, with the unprecedented circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, PCCC will make sure we provide Homework Club support to all our mob.”
Homework sessions will be provided weekly at Headspace Bundaberg, 66 Wongarra Street, Bundaberg, from 3.30pm to 5pm on Thursday afternoons.
To register for the Homework club click here or call (07) 4167 0037.
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